Our fourth annual Black Friday post

Ordinarily, I write this to run on Friday morning, but the recession and desperate retailers mean that, in some cases, Black Friday starts Thursday and even today. Walmart, Sears and Kmart will be open on Thanksgiving, and I got an email from Abt, the big-deal on-line electronics retailer, that its sale “starts now!

So, as always, feel free to leave a comment about what your shopping experience was like, where you went, what you bought, and how completely out of touch I am with reality that I don’t appreciate Black Friday. And, once again, I will note that I am not getting up at 4 a.m. to interview shoppers at the Kohl’s near my house.

A few observations about this year’s Black Friday:

• Canadians, though they don’t do Thanksgiving, apparently do Black Friday. If you don’t have the day off, how can you go shopping?

• Black Friday is good for hotels. USA Today reports that some shoppers, rather than make the drive to their favorite store, book a hotel room near the store. In other words, they eat Thanksgiving dinner and then go check into a hotel so they can get up and go shopping. Is it any wonder the Republic is in danger?

• Watch out for blackwashing. Writes Jason Cochran at the WalletPop blog: “[B]lackwashing is what happens when a sale is promoted as a Black Friday deal when it’s really not. Either it’s a normal discount offered for a long period that just happens to include Black Friday, or it’s not much of a deal at all.”

• And my favorite: A Massachusetts town has approved tough new measures on retailers who
want to open between midnight and 4 a.m. on Black Friday — they must seek a waiver and submit a police-reviewable safety plan to the town.


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